Could Brown Win Be A Big Gift To Progressives?
By Ole Ole Olson
NEWS JUNKIE POSTMar 15, 2010 at 12:28 am
Scott Brown won the former seat of Ted Kennedy (D-MA) recently. Although this would normally be a victory for Republicans, it gives them 41 seats in the US Senate which they will now use to stall or delay any reforms in 2010. This obstruction could reignite the progressive ground game that was pivotal to the Democrats 2008 landslide.
There was a collective sigh of relief when Democrats won strong majorities in Congress in November 2008. People absolutely refused to listen to the massive corporate spin machine that so skillfully tried to turn the tide of the people standing up for real change in the country. People ignored the clever angles, and kept going. People fought their distortions with fact and humor. With the election, a new reformer president, a black president who represented a bold new direction for our people came into being. We had a clarity of purpose and being, we were taking our country back.
Then the attacks began. The establishment fought back, well fueled by millions in corporate money funneled into lobbyists, advertising, think tanks, and front groups like Freedomworks. The conservative counter-revolution was born.
At first, the attacks reeked of desperation, but there was an evil genius behind their plan. Shrugging off the rightful criticism of their increasing extremism, they were laying the foundation for their plan to retake congress, hamstring yet another reformer president, and derail the movement for change. They built a solid ground game with the Tea Parties, with hundreds of thousands people taking to the streets, pumped up by completely fabricated scare tactics fed to them by propaganda networks like Fox ‘News’ and conservative talk radio. They were mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. Unfortunately for America, they were mad at the wrong forces, and became pawns in the game plan to finally transform our democratic republic into a full blown corporate oligarchy.
Health Care Defeat
Then they saw their opportunity. The president planned an ambitious goal that has eluded every leader over the last century in America: reforming our health care system. “This will be his Waterloo. This will break him.” Jim DeMint declared.
The health of our nations state of care has been bad for a long time, but in the last decade, it had moved onto life support. Costs are skyrocketing. 50 million don’t have insurance, leading to 48,000 deaths per year. We have some of the lowest overall quality of care and the highest costs in the Western world. The fact that we need to tackle this issue should be obvious.
“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and most inhumane.” -Martin Luther King Jr.
Perhaps in a moment of realism, reformers did not try to take on the whole system. They left the pharmaceutical companies alone, trying to focus squarely on reforming the health insurance system. The highly successful fully socialized plan wasn’t even considered. Single payer (medicare for all) was abandoned early on. All hopes rode on a strong, robust public option that could have covered 150 million people.
Pumping millions of dollars a day into defeating this, the health insurance corporations with their conservative allies in the Republican Party, backed up by angry mobs of Tea Baggers on the streets set out to defeat even this, a low-end compromise position. Targeting vulnerable and weaker conservative Democrats in the Senate, they managed to water down the bill over and over until it no longer contains any sort of public option, even one whose prices are set by the very insurance corporations whose prices it was intended to contain by giving people the choice of some competition. Beyond this, even health exchanges were stripped. Despite some good regulations in the bill, overall it has been a disaster and a 10 month waste of effort.
Those who had high hopes for real change were left dispirited, disillusioned, and exhausted.
Massachusetts Elects a Birther
Then, things went from bad to worse. Massachusetts elected a far right wing birther conspiracy theorist to fill the seat vacated by the untimely and tragic death of the Lion of the Senate: Ted Kennedy. With that, the supposedly filibuster-proof Democratic majority in the Senate came to a crashing halt, even though with conservative Democrats and Joe Lieberman in there, that never really existed in the first place. In any case, this gives the Republicans 41 seats in the US Senate which they will now use to stall or delay any reforms in 2010.
Nothing will get done this year, nothing substantial in any case. Things have come together far more quickly and successfully than they had anticipated (their plan was for this to happen for the 2010 midterms), and this could be their undoing. United in their opposition to literally any reforms proposed (including an anti-rape amendment), where once the Republicans could hide behind their small numbers and shift the focus to the Democrats inability to pass legislation, now the focus has shifted back onto them.
41 members of the US Senate mean that every bill is going to be defeated, but the narrative will change to ‘why’. Why are the Republicans obstructing this bill. Why are they filibustering yet again. Why are they abusing parliamentary maneuvers on a systematic basis?
This obstruction should reignite the progressive ground game that was pivotal to the Democrats 2008 landslide. Nothing wakes people up like getting a good ass kicking, and my friends, we got our asses kicked. Despite all of our effort, all the money we donated during these extremely tough times, our reforms have fallen flat. The unholy trinity of corporations, the establishment, and conservatives did what they couldn’t do in 2008, derail the movement for change. At least temporarily.
The SCOTUS Sells our Democracy
To add a little salt in our wound, the Supreme Court of the United States just announced that corporations are free to spend whatever they want on political campaigns, overturning a century of legal precedent. This never would have happened had 5 of the last 7 presidents been Republican who managed to stock the highest court in the land with conservative activist judges. Our democracy is now open to the highest bidder, which in essence the government belongs to them, and we are living in a corporate oligarchy.
Turning of the Tide
A tiger is never more dangerous than when it is cornered. We are up against that wall. Those who took a collective sigh of relief a year ago are beginning to wake up and realize that it is not just progressives who are losing, it is them as well. It is the middle class. It is working men and women. It is small business owners and smaller farmers. It is the majority of the country. Our democracy is not for sale.
Now with 41 votes in the US Senate, the Republicans own it. They can stop anything they want without regard to the will of the American people or what is best for our country. They can and will continue to obstruct Democracy to prove that nothing in the government can work, to prove that “Obama hasn’t done anything”, to prove that they can and will stand up for the will of their corporate masters in exchange for lavish and corrupt campaign contributions.
All of the pundits are claiming that the party in the White House always loses seats in the first midterm election in huge numbers. What if they are wrong? They were wrong when they said a black man with the funny name of Barack Hussein Obama could not be elected president. They were wrong when they proclaimed the left dead after the 2004 elections. They have been wrong time and time again. What if they are wrong now?
If progressives can begin to fight back, to broadcast their call for real change and reform in this country, if the angry Tea Bag mobs who will once again vote Republican (like they did for the Bush regime) can be repelled now, there is a real chance that this generation, in the here and now can change the course of the country for a generation.
Will you stand with me? Will you fight back against the regressives and stand for a new dawn in America?
- May 29, 2010 The Backlash Against Anti-Reform Democrats Is Unleashed
- March 23, 2010 Four Lessons From The Health Care Fight: A Game Plan For Reform In 2010
- January 18, 2010 Poll of Republican Beliefs Shows Vulnerability
- May 14, 2010 The 2010 Midterms: What If The Democrats Win?
- March 21, 2010 Congress Passes Historic Health Care Reform